Diwali or Deepavali translates to Festival of Lights. The five-day festival (November 12 – 16) is celebrated as a triumph of good over evil, shining light into darkness. For Spoonflower Sewing Team Manager Anitha, it’s also a time for waking up to prayers, lighting of diyas or lamps, visiting friends and family, wearing special new festive clothes and preparing her famous sweets and savory treats. While her Diwali celebration may look a little different this year, it hasn’t stopped Anitha from creating her very own Poly Crepe de Chine saree to honor her family’s traditions. We can’t wait for you to see how Anitha and her family are celebrating and decorating for Diwali this year.
Anitha: Growing up in Southern India, my siblings and I celebrated Diwali by wearing brand new traditional outfits, racing to burst the firecrackers and visiting friends and family. In continuing with one of the traditions of wearing new clothes, I wear a new saree each year and everyone in my family wears new Indian outfits.
How to Make a Saree
DIY Saree Materials
- 6 yards/meters of Poly Crepe de Chine* – I’m using Kuna Indian Tribal by vagabond_folk_art
- 9 yards/meters of Indian brocade trim
- Sewing machine
- Fabric shears or rotary blade
- Pins or clips
*When choosing a fabric for your saree, be sure to select an option that drapes easily like Poly Crepe de Chine. Also note that darker colors will be less transparent on this fabric.
1. Trim and Hem the Saree Fabric
First, trim the white selvedges on the sides of the printed fabric and then hem all four sides of the six yard piece of fabric. To hem, fold the fabric to the unprinted side 1/2″(1.3cm) and press in place. Fold under 1/2″(1.3cm) again so all of the raw edges are folded under. Press and topstitch in place.
2. Attach the Saree Trim
Starting 12″ (30.5cm) from the bottom left corner—this part of the saree gets tucked inside as you start the drape and hence you don’t want to add bulkiness— pin or clip the trim to the hemmed edge of the saree so the wrong side of the trim is facing the printed side of the saree. Topstitch the trim in place.
For an optional added touch, I created a faux-mitered corner with the trim when I reached the corners of the saree.
Nine yards of the saree trim fit just right for me to take it all the way across the pleats and to cover the back of the saree drape. This gave me the perfect drape all across the border and the pleated pallu, the part of the saree where it loosely hangs over your shoulder.
Now that Anitha’s Diwali saree is complete, it’s time to focus on the decor and treats she’s bringing to the table!
Anitha: Each year my friend hosts a Diwali party where I help decorate and assist in preparing delicious food! We invite friends and family and get dressed in traditional outfits and light plenty of diyas. We also light sparklers and the kids help with Rangoli, making colorful patterns with bright chalk powder. I cherish this moment of togetherness celebrating hope and brightness.
Shop the Look
Table runners, placemats and napkins featuring bright, vibrant colors with Indian motifs adorn Anitha’s Diwali table setting.
Since my dad and siblings live in different countries, I would like my kids to remember this special time as one where we get together with our dear friends and hope for brightness and goodness all around us!
From DIY sarees to Diwali decor, we hope a peek into Anitha’s celebration with family has inspired your own family festivities. We’d love to know what traditions your family shares in the comments below!